Srinagar: A strike called by separatists against Independence Day celebrations affected normal life in parts of Kashmir Valley today. However, stringent security measures were put in place across the valley for the celebrations, a police official said.

Shops, private offices, fuel stations and other businesses were shut in Srinagar, the official said. He said the city wore a deserted look as vehicles remained off roads. Only a few private cars were seen plying. The police official said reports of shutdown were also received from other district headquarters in the valley. The separatists under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership had asked people to observe a “black day” today.

The JRL – comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik – has asked people to observe a complete strike. The official said security forces have been deployed across the valley, especially at sensitive places, to maintain law and order. Authorities also barred mobile telephone services, including Internet facility on handheld devices, as a precautionary measure.

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